Israeli airstrikes have hit a Hamas facility on the third day of violence in the Gaza Strip, as the movement warns it is not seeking war, but will fight incursions.
A Hamas facility was struck by Israeli missiles on Friday, as violence continued for the third day in the Gaza Strip.
Two sets of air raids bombarded the besieged enclave, with missiles landing in Beit Lahia in northern Gaza and the second in Khuzaa, in the south of the territory, Palestinian witnesses confirmed.
An Israeli military statement suggested the “Hamas terror infrastructure” was struck in response to “ongoing attacks” against its forces.
But Hamas claimed it was not seeking war with Israel, however it was merely defending Palestinian territory from the intrusion of Israeli troops.
“We are not calling for a new war, but we will not under any circumstance accept these incursions,” Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas Gaza leader said on Friday, adding that Israeli forces had entered “150 to 199 metres (yards)” into the Gaza Strip “under the pretext of searching for tunnels”.
“We sent multiple messages that the resistance will not allow the Israelioccupation army to impose new rules within the borders of the Gaza Strip,” he added.
No casualties were reported on Friday, however a woman was killed just a day earlier when Israeli tanks shelled her home in Gaza.
Late on Thursday afternoon, tank shelling killed Zeina al-Amour, 54. A 21-year-old was also wounded in artillery shelling in the area.
The shelling came after a night in which Israeli air raids on Gaza wounded four people, three of them children, medical and security officials said.
The violence erupted on Wednesday when Israeli forces and heavy military vehicles encroached into the Gaza Strip, prompting Palestinian factions to open fire to push them back.
Israel says its soldiers were searching for tunnels used by Hamas, while Moussa Abu Marzouk, a senior Hamas figure, said the incursion is an attempt to cement a new border, more than 150 metres from the existing line.
Hamas’ armed wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, issued a statement on Wednesday condemning the military incursion inside the Gaza Strip.
“The enemy should not invoke any reason whatsoever for its actions and leave the Gaza Strip immediately,” the statement read.
The Qassam Brigades added that Israeli military action marked a breach of the 2014 ceasefire agreed after Israel’s offensive on the enclave two years ago.
Hamas sources told The New Arab that Egyptian and international mediations have led to a deal under which the Israeli army would withdraw from areas on the eastern Gaza border in exchange for a renewed ceasefire.
However, Israeli General Yoav Mordechai denied reports about a ceasefire agreement between the sides.
“The army intends to maintain its activities against Hamas as it continues to breach Israeli sovereignty and build tunnels,” he said in a statement.
Gaza has been devastated by three Israeli wars on the embattled territory since 2008, with virtually no reconstruction amid an Israeli blockade on all imports that could have a “military purposes”.
The last major Israeli onslaught on Gaza was the 51-day war in the summer of 2014, which killed more than 2,251 Palestinians and 73 Israelis, according to the United Nations.
Image Source: https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2016/5/6/israel-bombards-gaza-in-third-day-of-violence